MADISON – Building on his efforts to grow the state’s workforce, Governor Scott Walker today announced a plan that would create at least five new technical training centers at Wisconsin correctional institutions. The centers would partner with technical colleges and employers to focus on rehabilitating inmates, reducing recidivism, and expanding our workforce.
“With Wisconsin’s unemployment rate at or below 3.0 percent for 7 straight months, expanding our workforce has become increasingly important,” Governor Walker said. “Our plan will give inmates concrete skills they can use to become productive members of society once they are released. This will expand our workforce and reduce recidivism at the same time. I thank Governor Tommy Thompson for being a strong advocate of these reforms.”
Governor Walker intends to include the plan in his 2019-21 capital budget proposal and estimates the state’s investment to be between $25-45 million.
“I commend Governor Walker for moving forward with a plan to provide qualified inmates the skill training they need to prepare themselves for life after incarceration,” Governor Tommy Thompson said. “This will help Wisconsin employers fill the need for more skilled employees while also reducing recidivism. The Thompson Center on Public Leadership has been actively studying providing workforce opportunities and the correlation with reduced recidivism, this plan is a step in the right direction and part of the innovative solutions deserving of further consideration.”
The location of the technical training centers would be determined after collaborating with the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, legislators, and stakeholders.